Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1776 advocating for the independence of the American colonies from Britain and is considered very influential in American history. It stresses the logic of America’s independence emphasizing the defects of Britain’s monarchy and the economic cost of participating in Britain’s repeated wars.
His argument begins with general reflections about government and religion and then progresses onto the specifics of the colonial situation. He differentiates government and society and envisions an imaginary scenario in which a group of people has been placed on an island and cut off from the rest of society arguing that with time there will be need for law making and the people will be much happier if they are responsible for the creation of the laws that rule them.
He further delves into the theoretical idea of monarchy and hereditary succession before finally discussing the details of the American situation arguing that the colonies have little to gain from remaining attached to Britain all the while acknowledging that the colonies have flourished under British rule, and goes as far as suggesting what type of government the independent colonies should adopt.
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